Gay Marriage

A “Dream List” To Elect: Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Gillum, Stacey Abrams, Richard Cordray, Gavin Newsom

As we near the Midterm Elections of 2018 on Tuesday, this blogger and author has a “dream list” that he would wish and hope would be elected to office.

One is competing for the US Senate–Congressman Beto O’Rourke of Texas, trying to defeat Senator Ted Cruz. O’Rourke has become a true “rock star”, often compared in face and charisma to Robert F. Kennedy, who he is not related to, but O’Rourke has inspired many people, and has a following, particularly, among millennials. Many see him as a future Presidential contender, whether he wins or loses next week, and some see him as a contender for 2020, absolutely amazing.

Four others are competing for governors of their states.

Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams are both African Americans, inspiring many people of all age groups, as they compete to become Governors of Florida and Georgia, and if they both win, it will be truly historic. Both are well spoken and charismatic, and Gillum reminds many of Barack Obama. Gillum has been Mayor of Tallahassee, the state capitol, and Abrams has been the Democratic minority leader in the Georgia House of Representatives from 2011-2017.

Richard Cordray is running for Ohio Governor, and was the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under Barack Obama, and a five time “Jeopardy’ winner, and would really be a plus for Ohio’s future if he was elected. He was also Attorney General, Treasurer, and Solicitor General of Ohio over a long storied career, and some see him as a future potential Presidential contender.

Gavin Newsom is assured of victory for California Governor, and as San Francisco Mayor, was the first public official to marry gay couples in 2004, and has served as Lieutenant Governor for the past eight years. He drips with charisma, and is also seen as a potential future Presidential contender.

It Is Time For Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, And Red State Democrats To Put Nation Ahead Of Their Own Senate Seats

It is perfectly understood that all people who work like to keep their jobs and earn their income.

But there is no member of the US Senate that is “desperate” and “needy” to keep their jobs.

What is needed now is, as John F. Kennedy wrote, “Profiles in Courage”.

Republican Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, so called “moderate” Republicans, need to stand up and say, “NO WAY”, would they support Brett Kavanaugh to fill the available seat on the Supreme Court, since he clearly has a record of being anti abortion, and both women Senators claim they are pro choice, so they must refuse to support him.

It is clear that Brett Kavanaugh has committed perjury a number of times in earlier hearings before the Senate while under oath, and he should not be promoted to the Supreme Court, with his record of pursuing Bill Clinton with Ken Starr 20 years ago; his advocacy of torture in the Iraq War; his promotion of an anti gay marriage amendment under George W. Bush; and his unwillingness to say he would recuse himself from any case involving Trump and the scandals that have erupted in the past two years.

But even if Collins and Murkowksi were to back off on Kavanaugh, the requirement also is for Red State Democrats, who are running for reelection, to vote against Kavanaugh in unison, even if it leads to their defeat, which seems unlikely in the present political climate.

So that means West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly, Montana Senator Jon Tester, and Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill MUST save the nation from a Right Wing extremist Supreme Court, even if they lose their seats, putting the nation ahead of their own ambitions.

The Record And Views Of Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Could Determine Constitutional Law To 2050!

Tomorrow, the contentious hearings on the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will begin in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

These will be the most controversial set of hearings since 1987 and Robert Bork, and 1991, with Clarence Thomas.

On both of those occasions, the Democrats controlled the Senate, and Bork was rejected by a vote of 58-42, while Thomas was confirmed by a vote of 52-48.

The effect of Justice Clarence Thomas for the past 27 years has been profound, with many future potential Circuit Court or Supreme Court candidates having clerked for him.

Thomas has been trying to take us back to the Articles of Confederation in many ways, but also admiring Presidential power at the same time.

This is the danger of Brett Kavanaugh, that he would take America domestically back to the Gilded Age, wiping out the New Deal, Great Society, and everything Barack Obama changed.

He comes across on the surface as a pleasant, nice man, but it is all very misleading.

This is a man who worked for Ken Starr in the impeachment of Bill Clinton, and now Kavanaugh has changed his view of Presidential power 180 degrees.

This is a man who worked in the White House for George W. Bush, and helped to plan the idea of an anti gay marriage amendment, that was part of the campaign of Bush in 2004. And now, Donald Trump has used executive privilege to prevent 100,000 documents from Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush White House from being made available, which is another controversy now created, as why should the Senate be unable to examine all pertinent material about a nominee?

This is a man who worked to deny September 11 victims the ability to sue for damages, limiting unsuccessfully that intent.

This is a man who in his Circuit Court decisions has come out against abortion rights, against ObamaCare, against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, against labor union rights, and willing to support limitations on voting rights.

This is a man who might be able to vote on whether Donald Trump can be indicted or prosecuted, and should recuse himself on any such matters as a conflict of interest, but likely will not do so. Justice William Rehnquist, when new on the Court as an Associate Justice, recused himself from the US Vs. Richard Nixon case in 1974 (after which Richard Nixon resigned), because Rehnquist had worked in the Justice Department under Nixon. So that famous and significant case was 8-0, not 9-0 or 8-1, and at the least, a Justice Kavanaugh should recuse himself from any case involving possible legal action against Donald Trump.

Kavanaugh could affect future decisions on campaign finance, climate change, election gerrymandering, and travel bans, and regulation of guns.

He would also create a right wing conservative Court, unlike any since 85 years ago.

And being only 53, he could be on the Supreme Court until 2050, when he would reach 85 years of age.

This would be the most long range effect of Donald Trump, no matter how much longer he remains in the Presidency, along with the 26 and more Circuit Court confirmations already accomplished by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch.

The Democrats’ only hope would be IF all 49 Democrats hold fast (highly unlikely); Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowksi (both pro choice on abortion) abandoning the party ties on this vote (highly unlikely); and the person who replaces John McCain in the Senate (maybe Cindy McCain) joining the two women Republican Senators in voting against Kavanaugh (highly unlikely).

The Tough Battle Ahead On Supreme Court Replacement For Justice Anthony Kennedy

The retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, a conservative but moderate on such issues as gay rights and gay marriage, abortion, affirmative action, flag burning, and the use of the death penalty, leaves the Senate in a tough battle for confirmation of whoever Donald Trump appoints as his replacement.

The fair thing to do would be to postpone the appointment and confirmation hearings until after the midterm elections of 2018, just as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell prevented hearings and a vote on Barack Obama’s choice of Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, a Presidential election year. But it is clear McConnell has no such intentions to treat this situation in the same manner as he did two years ago.

So the question is whether there is any possibility of stopping a Trump appointment, and it seems pretty gloomy and very little chance to intervene and delay or prevent a confirmation of a new Supreme Court Justice.

With only 49 votes, the Democrats need one or two Republicans to join them in opposition, and for all Democrats, including more moderate and conservative members of the caucus, to stay loyal, even in an election year where 10 Senators who are running for reelection are from Trump carried states.

The saddest part of all this is that now we will have FOUR Supreme Court Justices–two by George W. Bush and two by Donald Trump–selected by Presidents who massively lost the popular vote in the elections in 2000 and 2016 when the Electoral College went to them.

Six of the last seven Presidential elections have seen the popular vote won by Democrats, all but 2004 since 1992, but the power over the future of the Supreme Court has been lost for the long term, for the next 30 years, beyond the theoretical lifetime of this author and blogger, and of many people who are 40 or over right now!

California Has Larger Economy Now Than The United Kingdom (Great Britain), Fifth Largest In World

As of last month, the state of California officially is the world’s fifth largest economy.

The Golden State just passed the United Kingdom (Great Britain), and is now only surpassed by four nations: The United States, China, Japan, and Germany.

Who would ever have thought when the US fought Mexico in the late 1840s, gained control of California in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, and saw the Gold Rush begin, starting the development of California population so rapidly, that California became a state by 1850, that this mega state would develop an economy larger than all but four nations?

California today has 40 million people, one out of every eight Americans, and has a technology sector in Silicon Valley, and is the world’s entertainment capital in Hollywood.

California is also the nation’s major agricultural sector in the Central Valley agricultural heartland.

It also has become a major positive in the economy after the collapse during the Great Recession. Financial services, real estate, manufacturing, and the information economy are all major pluses in the California economy.

Its economy is one seventh of the entire nation’s economy, and the job growth from 2012-2017 is one sixth of the entire improvement of the country.

The major areas of economic growth are in San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Its Congressional delegation, by far the largest, consists of 53 House Members and 2 Senators, and a substantial number of them—16 in the House—play a major role in Congress.

The outgoing Governor, Jerry Brown, is seen by many as possibly the greatest Governor in the nation right now, having presided over the revival of the California economy in the past eight years.

California has also led the fight against Donald Trump on such issues as immigration and sanctuary cities; gay rights and gay marriage; and climate change and global warming.

And Nancy Pelosi. the former Speaker of the House from 2007-2011, and Minority Leader since then; and Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader now angling to be the next Speaker of the House if the Republicans retain the majority, are both from California.

So California is, in so many ways, a nation onto itself, and could sustain itself if need be, but at the same time, the future could be three Californias, as the state initiative process has led to a possible ballot question in November, that would set up three states instead of one–Northern California; Southern California; and California, which would consist of the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Each state would have about one third of the population of 40 million.

Whether this occurs or not, California will continue to be a major part of the world economy and the American political system.

Why Don’t Republicans Abandon Donald Trump, And Promote A “True Believer”, Mike Pence?

A growing question, in the midst of ever expanding Donald Trump corruption regarding Russian Collusion, Obstruction Of Justice, Violation of the Emoluments Clause, Stormy Daniels Scandal, and the Michael Cohen controversy, is why Republicans do NOT abandon Trump, and promote a “true believer”, Vice President Mike Pence.

For those of us are who progressives, the thought of a President Mike Pence is a horror, as Pence is clearly a man who promotes theocracy in a manner that is clearly dangerous.

This is a man who was losing, at least in polls, his original plan for reelection as Indiana Governor in 2016, when Donald Trump “rescued” his career, by selecting him as his Vice Presidentila running mate.

Pence had a record of being allied with the Tea Party Movement while a Congressman, that arose in the wake of the election of Barack Obama in 2008.

Pence had a record of promoting the tobacco industry, and denying that cigarette smoking caused lung cancer.

Pence had a record of advocating conversion therapy to undo the “sin” of being gay or lesbian, even though he has denied that, but it is fact that he was and is a vehement opponent of gay rights and gay marriage, and that he wears his evangelical Christianity on his sleeve.

Pence had a record of being a leading misogynist, vehemently opposing the right of a woman to choose in regards to abortion, and his wife Karen has had a strong influence on his thinking on this, and on issues involving women’s equality in other areas.

Pence has a very good relationship with Republican leaders and many conservatives, as well as right wing evangelical leaders, so it would seem logical that at some point, the pressure will be on for these groups to pressure Trump to resign.

An upcoming meeting of right wing evangelicals, scheduled for Tuesday June 19 with President Trump, could become the motivation to tell Donald Trump the gig is up, and that if he does not resign, that the move will be on to force him out.

That day will mark 23 days after the length of time of Zachary Taylor in the White House in 1849-1850 before his death, a total of 492 days. So on the 515th day of his Presidency, one might expect the pressure to grow on Trump, and to lead to his resignation shortly after, making him the fourth shortest term of any President in American history!

A total of 10 Presidents have served less than a full term, but seven of them had at least two years and five months, but the likelihood of Trump lasting two years to January 20, 2019, can now be seen as extremely unlikely. And to expect him to last five more months to June 20, 2019, and surpass the fourth shortest Presidency, that of Warren G. Harding from 1921-1923, is certainly a long shot!

Law Professors, Lawyers, And Donald Trump: A Time For Patriotism Over Sycophancy

In the midst of the national and international crisis of Donald Trump’s “love affair” with Vladimir Putin, we are seeing law professors and lawyers who are acting like sycophants, and in the process harming their reputations, at a time when patriotism should win out over sycophancy.

Law Professors, including Alan Dershowitz and Jonathan Turley are finding ways to justify Trump’s illegal, immoral, and unconstitutional behavior, while Laurence Tribe is adding to his reputation as a respectable and legitimate scholar.

Meanwhile, well known attorney Joseph diGenova is promoting conspiracy theories about the “Deep State” and is undermining the FBI and the intelligence agencies, while Theodore Olson is showing how dignified, decent and credible he has always been.

And these are just the best known law professors and attorneys, splitting and dividing, as we learn who the legitimate law professors and lawyers really are, in this greatest of all constitutional crises.

Dershowitz, a former professor at Harvard Law School, and a renowned attorney in the O J Simpson case and many others, has said that Special Counsel Robert Mueller should never have been appointed, and that a “witch hunt” is being conducted against Donald Trump, using the exact language of the President. Dershowitz sees no evidence of any crimes by Trump, but also does not see it as likely that Trump would fire Mueller, although last June, Trump came close to firing Mueller, a month into the investigation. This is crazy legal judgment, and makes one wonder what Dershowitz’s whole purpose is.

Turley is a professor of law at George Washington University, claims there is no evidence of collusion by Trump with Russia, and he agreees with the idea of a second Special Counsel to investigate the FBI, a mind boggling example of sycophancy by Turley, undermining the ability to investigate the illegal actions by Trump. Turley has become a favorite to be on Fox News Channel, and it undermines his whole career as a law professor.

Tribe, a renowned professor at Harvard Law School, has been a strong critic of Donald Trump, and has advocated his impeachment, and is publishing a new book on that topic, out in May, but already number one on the Amazon list of best selling books. Tribe has been a credit to his profession and to the law school community for decades, and is not selling his soul to the Right Wing which has no problem with the disgraceful Presidency of Donald Trump.

diGenova has long been seen as an attorney who relies on conspiracy theories and undermining of respect for the law, so it is not surprising that he has now joined the Trump legal team, out to destroy the FBI and the intelligence community, and overlook the facts on the case against Trump.

And Olson is a well respected attorney, who defended George W. Bush in the 2000 Presidential election controversy; then lost his wife Barbara in the plane that crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001; followed by joining fellow attorney David Boies, his rival in the 2000 election controversy in fighting the case for gay marriage in court, leading to the Supreme Court decisoin in 2015. Olson has rejected the idea of joining the Trump defense team, and adds to his stature by doing so.

This is a time for patriotism and justice over sycophancy and demagoguery, so Tribe and Olson are to be commended, while Dershowitz, Turley, and diGenova are to be condemned!

Roy Moore, The Most Extremist Right Wing Senator In The Republican Party, And Possible Sign Of Future Turmoil In Party, If He Wins In December

Alabama Republicans last night selected former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore as their nominee to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, overcoming temporary appointed Senator Luther Strange, by a margin of 10 percent.

Although Donald Trump supported Strange, he quickly switched to backing of Moore, who faces a contest with Doug Jones, the Democratic nominee, who as US Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, by appointment of Bill Clinton, was able to gain convictions of the perpetrators of the Birmingham Church bombing in 1963 of four young African American girls in 2001 and 2002, making him a hero four decades later than the crimes, but with two Ku Klux Klan members finally being dealt justice for their crimes.

But Alabama, being Alabama, is likely to elect Roy Moore to finish the remainder of the Sessions term on December 12.

Moore would be, by his own record, the most extremist right wing Senator in decades, more so than even Ted Cruz is or Jeff Sessions was, and as dangerous as Jesse Helms was for decades.

This man wants a Christian run nation, not believing in separation of church and state, a very alarming situation.

He is homophobic, Islamophobic, and racist, in his references to minority groups as “red and yellow”, and wanting to check out all Hispanics on their being documented or undocumented immigrants.

He is a Birther, as Trump was, believing that Barack Obama was born in Kenya.

He was forced out twice from the Supreme Court of Alabama for installing a Ten Commandments statue, and for promoting refusal to accept the US Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, and wants homosexuality to be a crime worthy of prosecution.

He is a firebrand, who has the support of such right wing extremists as Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Laura Ingraham.

He is anti Republican Establishment, and will create trouble for Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan on Capitol Hill, and will make many controversial statements.

To imagine that Sessions would have been preferable to remain as a US Senator instead of having Moore as his replacement shows just how extremist and whacko the Republican Party has become, and it encourages other Tea Party types like Moore to challenge Republican Senators for renomination in states such as Arizona, Nevada, and now Tennessee where Senator Bob Corker has decided not to run for reelection in 2018.

The Attack On Transgenders In The Military A Major Step Backward On Human Rights, And Must Be Resisted In Any Way Possible!

The decision of Donald Trump to declare that transgender individuals are not to be allowed to serve in the military is a major step backwards on human rights.

Transgender men and women have served in the military heroically in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they serve in the military in Israel, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other advanced democracies with no troubles or complications.

This is simply an appeal to the bigoted Religious Right of Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, and other preachers who claim wrongly to speak for Jesus Christ, who would reject their prejudice and hypocrisy.

It is also an attempt to take attention off the failed Health Care attempts to destroy ObamaCare, and also to take people’s minds off the investigation of the Russian collusion of the Trump campaign and Presidency.

It undermines the great progress made on gay rights and gay marriage, and now, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions is arguing that gays and lesbians and transgenders should not be considered as covered under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a total outrage!

Leave it to the right wing whackos, and we might see a future situation where women’s rights to an abortion, and even interracial marriages, might be reversed by a right wing Supreme Court majority.

It is good to see that the military is not, at least at this point, obeying a tweet of our unstable President, and hopefully, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff will fight against it, and convince Trump that this will undermine military discipline and morale, and endanger the declared Transgenders already out in the military.

One can sadly expect more prejudice and discrimination against transgenders now in society, and some will die as a result.

Ironically, this bigoted, ignorant, and prejudiced statement by Trump occurred on the 69th anniversary of Harry Truman integrating the military in 1948, and one can be certain that if Truman were alive, he would have appropriate salty language visited upon Trump, and would probably wish to give Trump a swift kick in his rear end and in his private area as well, something million of Americans would cheer!

The End Of The Supreme Court Term: Any Retirements Coming?

This is the last week of the present Supreme Court session, and Court watchers are wondering if we are about to see a sharp swing to the Right, with the potential retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, appointed by Republican President Ronald Reagan nearly 30 years ago, and a crucial swing vote ever since on the Court.

Kennedy has been on the conservative side about two thirds of the time, and on the liberal side one third of the time, and without him, for instance, there would have been no advancements on gay rights and gay marriage, as he was the crucial fifth vote.

His vote this week may decide whether the Muslim ban of Donald Trump is upheld, or prevented, as it has been by several circuit courts around the nation.

Kennedy has been the unpredictable vote all by himself in the past decade, since Sandra Day O’Connor left the court at the end of 2005.

For a decade before 2005, it was said the Court was the “O’Connor-Kennedy Court”, and now for the past 12 years, it has been the “Kennedy” Court, more than the Roberts Court, as traditionally, the Court is described by the name of its Chief Justice.

Since Kennedy will be turning 81 in one month, and is the second oldest member of the Court, after Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who is 84, but has made clear she is going nowhere, and hopes to stay on the Court until 2021, so that hopefully a future Democratic President in 2021 can choose her successor.

So if Kennedy does retire this week, it will mark a sharp move to the Right, which will undermine constitutional law for the next generation!